How to Clean Discolored Quarry Tile
Calling in from Michigan, we’ve got Pat who listens in on WPNW. What’s going on with those porch tiles?
PAT: I have porch tiles that I had cleaned last year. They are quarry tile. And they’re kind of the orange colors. And they’re very cloudy and dull and all the grout is also turned quite reddish. I’m not happy at all with how it looks. I wondered if there was any sealer that I could put on them; bring out the beauty of the tile and seal it from changing into these cloudy kinds of things.
LESLIE: So it’s not as if you have a sprinkler system and you’re seeing the discoloration from perhaps a sediment or something that’s in the water.
PAT: No. Not at all. There’s no water that gets in there.
TOM: Alright. Well, if you clean the tiles – the next time you clean them and clean them thoroughly – you certainly put a tile and grout sealer on there. And that is going to stop the absorption. I suspect what you’re getting here is, you know, whenever the dirt and the water and the wear and tear gets in there, it kind of forms its own colorant …
TOM: … and that’s probably the redness that you’re seeing. So the trick here is to try to get them as clean as possible and then seal it when it’s good and dry. Then apply a tile sealer to the whole thing. And that’s going to probably double or triple the time that those tiles are going to stay clean. So instead of doing this once a year you might end up doing it every two or three years.
PAT: Is there any sealer that would not turn the grout white?
TOM: Oh, certainly.
PAT: I have had trouble with that.
TOM: No. You know, certainly if you use a sealer – usually the best sealers are silicone-based. They’re going to be clear. They’re not going to turn the tile white or the grout white.
PAT: OK, I will give that a try. Thank you.
TOM: Alright, thanks so much for calling us, Pat, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.